Kool G Rap
|Kool G Rap|
Kool G Rap performing in New York City, 2006
|Birth name||Nathaniel Thomas Wilson|
|Also known as||G Rap, Kool Genius of Rap, Giancana|
July 20, 1968 |
Queens, New York City, US
|Origin||Corona, Queens, New York City, U.S.|
|Labels||Cold Chillin', Warner Bros. Records, Epic Street, SME Records, Koch|
|Associated acts||Juice Crew, Five Family Click, Marley Marl, Big Daddy Kane, DJ Premier, Large Professor, Capone-N-Noreaga, Necro|
Nathaniel Thomas Wilson (born July 20, 1968), better known by his stage name Kool G Rap (or simply G Rap, and originally Kool Genius of Rap) is an American rapper. He hails from the Corona neighborhood of Queens, New York City. He began his career in the mid-1980s as one half of the group Kool G Rap & DJ Polo and as a member of the Juice Crew. He is often cited as one of the most influential and skilled MCs of all time as he is a pioneer of mafioso rap/street/hardcore content and multisyllabic rhyming. On his album The Giancana Story, he stated that the "G" in his name stands for "Giancana" (after the mobster Sam Giancana), but on other occasions he has stated that it stands for "Genius".
Growing up in Corona was like a little Harlem, it wasn't that hard for a nigga to be influenced by the street life type of mentality. I was like 15 years old, Ma dukes couldn't dress a nigga no more and at that age you want a little money in your pocket. That's what gets us all, material possessions. A nigga got caught up in that mentality. Nigga started selling drugs at a certain point, and all that shit, it's what was goin' on in the streets ... eventually all my friends got smoked. Everybody was droppin'. All my friends started packing burners everyday, we was wild shorties.
—Kool G Rap, The Source Magazine, issue 72, September, 1995.
Around this time, Wilson was looking for a DJ, and through Eric B., he met DJ Polo, who was looking for an MC to collaborate with.
Kool G Rap and DJ Polo
Juice Crew producer, and Mr. Magic DJ; Marley Marl knew Polo, and allowed him and G Rap to go to his studio to do a demo, which resulted in the song "It's a Demo." The song was written and recorded in one night, and had Marley so impressed, that he instantly embraced Kool G Rap and DJ Polo as Juice Crew members (it's worth noting that this was the first time G Rap had ever met Marley.) In 1986 on Mr Magic's Rap Attack radio show on 107.5, the duo got their first exposure which created more buzz. They eventually released "It's a Demo" as a single with "I'm Fly", along with two more singles. Shortly after this, Kool G Rap appeared on the Juice Crew's classic posse cut 'The Symphony' before they released their debut album, Road to the Riches in 1989. This album and their two later albums, Wanted: Dead or Alive (1990) and Live and Let Die (1992), are highly regarded and considered Hip-Hop classics. Eventually in 1993, Kool G rap parted ways with DJ Polo in pursuit of a solo career.
In 1995, G Rap started his solo career with the album 4,5,6, which featured production from Buckwild, and guest appearances from Nas, MF Grimm and B-1 – it has been his most commercially successful record, reaching No.24 on the US Billboard 200 album chart. This was followed by Roots of Evil in 1998. In 1997 G Rap was feature on Frankie Cutlass "Politic & Bullsht" album track title "Know Da Game" which also feature Mobb Deep. He was then meant to release his next album, The Giancana Story in 2000, on Rawkus Records, but due to several complications with the label, the album was pushed back several times, and eventually released in 2002. "My Life" the hit single from the album featuring Talk Box legend G-Wise reached No.5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts. He then released a joint album with his group, 5 Family Click, on his own Igloo Ent. label to mild success. In the following years, mixtapes were made and further collaborations continued. There were even rumors of G Rap's signing to both Rocafella and G-Unit records, and even at one point Maybach Music. In 2007 he released Half a Klip on Chinga Chang Records, featuring production from, among others, DJ Premier and Marley Marl. A full LP was released in 2011, Riches, Royalty, Respect showcasing his true to form style and lyricism. The promise and prospects of collaboration albums were announced later the next year on his own, newly formed label FullMettle. His growing interests extended outside hiphop in later years. He stated in further interviews his desire to begin writing movie scripts, an ambition taken in for a few years as he sought out various collaborators, and even a clothing line was also at one point apparently in the works.
Kool G Rap is regarded as a hugely influential golden age rapper. Music journalist Peter Shapiro suggests that he "created the blueprint for Nas, Biggie and everyone who followed in their path". Kool G is described by Kool Moe Dee as "the progenitor and prototype for Biggie, Jay-Z, Treach, Nore, Fat Joe, Big Pun, and about twenty-five more hard-core emcees", and Kool Moe Dee also claims Kool G Rap is "the most lyrical" out of all of the artists mentioned. MTV describes Kool G Rap as a "hip-hop godfather", adding that he paved the way for a lot of MCs who we would not have heard of otherwise. Rolling Stone says, "G Rap excelled at the street narrative, a style that would come to define later Queens MCs like Nas (who was hugely influenced by G Rap on his early records) and Mobb Deep".
Other artists who have named Kool G Rap as a major influence include Notorious B.I.G., Eminem, Jay-Z, Tajai of Souls of Mischief, Vinnie Paz of Jedi Mind Tricks, Steele of Smif-n-Wessun, Havoc of Mobb Deep, Rock of Heltah Skeltah, MC Serch, Termanology, Black Thought of The Roots, M.O.P., R.A. The Rugged Man, Bun B of UGK, Rah Digga, RZA, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan, Lady Of Rage, Big Pun, O.C. of DITC, Memphis Bleek, Kurupt, Pharoahe Monch, and Twista, among others.
He is also often very highly rated in terms of his technical ability and is often ranked alongside other highly regarded golden age MCs, such as Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, and KRS-One. In Jay-Z's track 'Encore', Jay-Z raps, "hearing me rap is like hearing G Rap in his prime", comparing his skill level to that of Kool G Rap. Allmusic calls him "one of the greatest rappers ever", "a master", and "a legend". A number of rappers, such as Ice Cube, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Lloyd Banks, and Nas have put him in their lists of favorite rappers. Kool Moe Dee ranked Kool G Rap at No.14 in his book There's A God On The Mic: The True 50 Greatest MCs, and MTV gives him an 'Honorable Mention' in their Greatest MCs Of All Time list.
Kool G Rap is known for using complex multisyllabic rhymes since his debut (in a similar way to other golden age MCs such as Big Daddy Kane and Rakim), and this remains a hallmark of his style, along with his rapid-fire delivery and "superhuman breath control". Although many of today's MCs use multisyllabic rhymes extensively (such as Eminem, Pharoahe Monch, Nas, Papoose, and many others), Kool G Rap is known for taking the technique to its limits and packing in as many multisyllabic rhymes as possible, sometimes all in the same rhyme scheme for a whole verse, such as on Sway & King Tech's 'The Anthem'.
He has also been cited as one of Hip-Hop's greatest storytellers, alongside Slick Rick and Notorious B.I.G., with "laser-like visual descriptions", and "vivid narratives". Rolling Stone states that, "Live and Let Die continued G Rap's reign as rap music's premier yarn-spinner".
Kool G Rap is often credited as the first rapper to infuse his lyrics with mafioso and hardcore street content. This can be seen as early as 1989 in the song "Road to the Riches" where he makes a reference to Al Pacino (who plays mobster Tony Montana in the 1983 crime drama movie Scarface) – this was long before albums such as Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… (1995), and Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt (1996) made such references popular.
Since his debut, he has used various references to mob movies in his lyrics, album covers, and titles. For example, the first line of 'Bad to the Bone' from Wanted: Dead or Alive (1990) is, I'm bad to the bone / with a style like Al Capone, the album Live and Let Die (1992) uses samples from the 1987 crime film The Untouchables, the album cover of Roots of Evil (1998) uses elements from The Godfather and Scarface theatrical posters, and The Giancana Story (2002) album title references Mafia boss Sam Giancana.
Rolling Stone says, "before Kool G Rap, New York didn't really have the street rap that could hold its own against what artists such as L.A.'s Ice-T and N.W.A were churning out" and that "G Rap excelled at the street narrative".
His take on crime, violence, and the mafioso lifestyle ranges from remorse and contemplation (e.g. 'Streets of New York', described by Rolling Stone as "a vivid look inside the misery of the hood"), to glorification (e.g. 'Fast Life' featuring Nas).
|with DJ Polo||Year|
|Road to the Riches||1989|
|Wanted: Dead or Alive||1990|
|Live and Let Die||1992|
|Roots of Evil||1998|
|The Giancana Story||2002|
|Half a Klip||2007|
|Riches, Royalty, Respect||2011|
|The Best of Cold Chillin'||2000|
|Kool G Rap & Twinn Loco Present – I Live Hip Hop – The Mixtape||2010|
|Dead or Alive the Mixtape||2005|
|Offer You Can't Refuse||2011|
|Click of Respect (with The 5 Family Click)||2003|
|Once Upon A Crime (with Necro as The Godfathers)||2013|
- 1988: "The Symphony" (on the Marley Marl album In Control Volume 1)
- 1991: "Don't Curse" (from the Heavy D album Peaceful Journey")
- 1991: "The Symphony Vol. II" (on the Marley Marl album In Control Volume 2: For Your Steering Pleasure)
- 1992: "Death Threat" (from the Brand New Heavies album Heavy Rhyme Experience Vol. 1)
- 1993: "You Must Be Out of Your Fuckin' Mind" (from the Fat Joe album Represent)
- 1993: "Pee-Nile Reunion" (from the MC Shan Don't Call It Comeback 12")
- 1993: "This Is How We..." (from the Pudgee Tha Phat Bastard album Give Em The Finger)
- 1996: "Representin'" (Ruffa featuring Kool G Rap)
- 1996: "Stick To Ya Gunz" (from the M.O.P. album Firing Squad)
- 1996: "Know Da Game" (from the Frankie Cutlass album Politics And Bullshit)
- 1998: "Truly Yours 98" (from the Pete Rock album Soul Survivor)
- 1998: "Guns Blazing (Drums of Death, Pt. 1)" (from the UNKLE album Psyence Fiction)
- 1998: "40 Island" (from the N.O.R.E. album N.O.R.E.)
- 1999: "Friend of Ours" (from the E-Moneybags album In E-Moneybags We Trust)
- 1999: "The Anthem" Also feat. RZA, Tech N9ne, Eminem, Xzibit, Pharoahe Monch, Jayo Felony, Chino XL & KRS-One and "3 to the Dome" also feat. Big Daddy Kane & Chino XL (from the Sway & King Tech album This or That)
- 1999: "The Realest" (from the Mobb Deep album Murda Muzik)
- 2000: "Fall Back" (from the Big L album The Big Picture)
- 2000: "Ghetto afterlife" (from the Reflection Eternal album Train of thought)
- 2000: "Legendary Street Team" (from Lyricist Lounge 2)
- 2001: "Let 'Em Live" (from the Chino XL album I Told You So)
- 2001: "I Am" (from the G. Dep album Child of the Ghetto)
- 2001: "Gorillas" (from the Screwball album Loyalty)
- 2001: "No Surrender" (Shabaam Sahdeeq featuring Kool G Rap)
- 2002: "Allied Meta-Forces" (from the Canibus album Mic Club: The Curriculum)
- 2002: "Nuthin Has Changed" (from King Tee album The Kingdom Come)
- 2003: "Animal Rap" (from the Jedi Mind Tricks album Visions of Gandhi)
- 2005: "AIDS" (from the MF Grimm album Scars and Memories)
- 2005: "Ghost & Giancana" (from the Ghostface Killah and Trife da God album Put It on the Line)
- 2006: "We Gone Go Hard" (from the Ras Kass album Revenge of the Spit)
- 2006: "Reckless Eye-Ballin" (from the VERBAL THREAT album The Golden Era)
- 2006: "Full Metal Jacket" (from the Molemen album Killing Fields)
- 2007: "Hood Tales" (from the Marco Polo album Port Authority)
- 2007: "100 Roundz" (from the Domingo album The Most Underrated)
- 2007: "Come one, come all" (from the Styles P album The Ghost Sessions)
- 2007: "Next Up" (from the UGK album Underground Kingz)
- 2007: "6 in the Morning" (from the Statik Selektah album Spell My Name Right: The Album)
- 2007: "Buck Buck" (on the Red Cafe and DJ Envy album The Co-Op)
- 2007: "And Wot (Remix)" (Album "Unified: He Whanau Kotahi Tatou" featuring Sweet Tooth & Carbon Kid)
- 2007: "Terrorise the City(on the Klashnekoff album Lionheart: Tussle with the Beast featuring Kyza)
- 2008: "Queens" (from the LL Cool J Exit 13 Promo EP)
- 2008: "One Shot" (album Hood 2 Hood: The Blockumentary Soundtrack, Pt. 1)
- 2008: "The Next Step" (from the Big John album The Next Step featuring R.A The Rugged Man)
- 2008: "Same Old Hood" (Saul Abraham featuring Kool G Rap & St Laz)
- 2009: "Das Leid / The Light" Azad featuring Kool G Rap (from Brisk Fingaz album Einzelkämpfer)
- 2009: "Gunz From Italy" (from the Club Dogo album Dogocrazia)
- 2009: "Ill Figures" (from the Wu-Tang Clan compilation album Wu-Tang Chamber Music)
- 2009: "Legendary" (from the 67 Mob album Raising The Bar)
- 2009: "ALC Theme" (from The Alchemist album Chemical Warfare)
- 2009: "KGR & Honda" (from the DJ Honda album IV)
- 2010: "Cursed" (from the Diabolic debut album "Liar & A Thief")
- 2010: "Boot Rap" featuring Canibus (from the Mark Deez album "Bootstrap Theory")
- 2010: "White Sand Part 2" Rick Ross Ft. Triple C's from The Albert Anastasia EP
- 2010: "Knife Fight" Rick Ross Ft. Kool G Rap from The Albert Anastasia EP
- 2010: "Ready For War" CHI-ILL Ft. Kool G Rap from The Last Chance Lounge EP.
- 2010: "Controlling Tha Game" Tyger Vinum FT. Kool G. Rap from "Grindin Muzik" album
- 2010: "Frozen" (From The Left album "Gas Mask")
- 2010: "3 Extremes" (from Dusty Philharmonics album "The Audiotopsy", Unexpected Records)
- 2010: "Street Knowledge" featuring Koolsphere & Bateria (from Dj Jean Maron album "RUN MPC")
- 2011: "Kies in tha game" (from Duo Kie album "De Cerebri Mortis")
- 2011: "Ill Figures Remix" (from Raekwon EP "Dope on the Table")
- 2012: "Summertime" (from Adil Omar album The Mushroom Cloud Effect)
- 2012: "Keep it Live" (from NNFoF album No Name Full of Fame)
- 2012: "Rivers of Blood" Wu-tang Clan ft. Kool G Rap (from The Man with the Iron Fists Soundtrack)
- 2012: "Wolves Amongst the Sheep" (from Vinnie Paz's album: God of the Serengeti)
- 2012: "Westerns" (from Israeli rapper Sagol 59's single: Westerns 12")
- 2012: "Young N Foolish" with Iranian rappers Hichkas (known as the pioneer & God father of Iranian rap), Quf and Reveal produced by Mahdyar Aghajani
- 2012: "Depths Of Despair" (with Irish rapper Tall Order Paul Ritchie)
- 2013: "Ink Spatter" Trails ft. Kool G Rap & Dray Sr. (from the album Anvils & Pianos)
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